Diploma programme Fine Arts (Mag.art.)
Study branch: Cultural Studies
Programme structure: Study branch within the scope of the Institute of Fine Arts
Minimum duration of programme: 2 years
This course aims to enable students to assume a competent professional role in an increasing number of creative-scientific professional pursuits (e.g. curatorship, art criticism/reviewing, exhibition design, management of cultural affairs in large corporations, management of cultural initiatives, etc.). All these domains require in-depth knowledge of scientific procedures including (re)search techniques, text analysis, verification and citation as well as argumentation skills.
This field offers lectures and practical exercises for students of all study orientations to help them acquire and master the methodologies of cultural-scientific theories. Questions touching on design practice and thematic impulses that might serve as sources of inspiration or input are pushed to the fore, e.g. ritual, magic, history of time computation, animals in human culture, courtesy, comedy (in everyday life and in art), structures of private space, the right to idleness, the out-of-place/awkward, glamour, etc. The programme above all aims to train and strengthen critical acumen, the ability to change perspectives or analyse widespread conceptions, as well as flexibility in grappling with one’s own artistic ideas.
All Fine Arts students are offered an introduction to the elementary processes in dealing with theoretical texts.
For diploma students (in particular of the Cultural Studies branch) and doctoral students, this branch also offers practical classes for the acquisition of methods leading from texts read to texts written.
In the course of their artistic studies, many students tend to discover a strong interest in (and often display considerable flair for) theoretical work. The study branch Cultural Studies (which may be chosen after completing the first phase of the study programme) tries to take account of this demand and to provide a range of classes and courses that enable graduates to assume a competent professional role in an increasing number of creative-scientific professional pursuits (e.g. curatorship, art criticism/reviewing, exhibition design, management of cultural affairs in large corporations, management of cultural initiatives, etc.). All these domains require in-depth knowledge of scientific procedures including (re)search techniques, text analysis, verification and citation as well as argumentation skills, which are especially nurtured by the programme.
Vis-à-vis comparable scientific programmes, the special asset of the Cultural Studies branch at Kunstuniversität Linz lies in the fact that theoretical reasoning is developed from the perspective of artistic practice and closely connected to it. This mutual vicinity of artistic and theoretical practice is stimulating for both sides, as it permits realising to what degree artistic practice sometimes opens up theoretical dimensions that theoretical practice may struggle to formulate on its own and quite often only with substantial delay. Thus artistic practice becomes a productive challenge for theory. Conversely, theoretical clarity has a productive cross-pollinating effect on artistic practice and increases the latter’s efficiency in clarifying its own strengths and reaching its target groups.
The co-operation with students of Cultural Studies in theory classes proves of benefit to artists, not only by intensifying their theoretical work, but also by increasing their discursive competence. This is of decisive importance for artistic practitioners, since artistic practice today not only comprises artistic production but also the need for targeted communication (at whom is my production aimed?) and reasoned argumentation (it is the quality of a written exposé that more often than not decides on whether an art project will actually materialise).